Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy

Beth Bishop, LMSW

RPC is excited to announce that we will begin incorporating Sand Tray Therapy as a modality for our clients at RPC. We have clients who have benefited from weaving sand into a session already and we are excited to expand this practice. 

What IS Sand Tray Therapy? Sand Tray Therapy starts with a story. You (the client) use the materials, sand, miniature figurines and objects, to tell the story during your psychotherapy session. This story is often formulated in the building of the tray. This type of therapy helps clients to process the story of their lives, including trauma and loss.

The sandtray is simple and the stories displayed are complex. Sandtray can give strength to expression and can help uncover/discover issues that are being grappled with. Sometimes those expressions are obvious to the client and other times they come as a revelation with an “Oh!” as a truth about the implicit self is revealed. Studies show that it is effective in treating a variety of mental health issues including anxiety and the processing of trauma, grief and loss.  1, 2

I look forward to welcoming clients into the space where a different part of their brain can be used to explore what is going on in their lives. Sandtray is experiential and offers sensory grounding and can be a pathway to comfort and calm. Sand Tray Therapy is currently being offered at RPC by Beth Bishop, LMSW-PMH-C, and Grace Rao, LCSW.

Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain. 

~ Carl Jung

In the process of creating a sandtray, hope often appears from unknown sources. 

~ Amy Flagherty

Pandemic at the hospital ~ used by permission.


Further reading:


  1. Foo, M., & Pratiwi, A. (2021). The effectiveness of sandplay therapy in treating generalized anxiety disorder patients with childhood trauma using magnetic resonance spectroscopy to examine choline level in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and centrum semiovale. International Journal of Play Therapy, 30(3), 177–186.

  1. Carey, L. (Ed.) (2006). Expressive and creative arts methods for trauma survivors. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.